Aside from its reputation as a honeymoon spot, the Maldives is a diver’s dream. The Indian Ocean paradise is made up of more than 1,000 islands and is renowned for its thriving coral atolls, lagoons and abundance of colorful marine life. Top sites include Fotteyo Kandu in Vaavu Atoll for exciting caves and overhangs, while the strong currents of Lhaviyani Atoll’s Kuredu Express offer up big fish action from reef sharks and manta rays. Anantara recently opened up its first PADI-certified free-diving center – available to guests at three of its resorts – for those who want a different subaquatic experience. WHERE TO STAY: Vacationers are spoiled for choice in the Maldives, but a brand-new opening in September is the St Regis Vommuli Resort, Maldives. The idyllic resort offers 77 private villas, a tranquil spa with six private treatment rooms, an infinity swimming pool, fitness center and yoga space, plus dive and activity center (starwoodhotels.com/stregis).
Japan’s southern island of Okinawa is another diving hotspot, with year-round warm water and a variety of oceanic creatures from hammerhead sharks to unique nudibranchs. Another draw is the chance to explore WWII shipwrecks and underwater ruins. Back on land, Okinawa offers a long list of relaxing vacation pursuits, from beautiful beaches to World Heritage sites and endless